Interval Work During Base Phase

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phil149840
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Interval Work During Base Phase

Post by phil149840 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:06 pm

I have a couple questions. The first, in light of the following passage(see below), is whether longer work intervals are included in the buildup part of a base phase (I am aware that not every runner has to build up again, but some do). Also, if the intervals are done close to 12k pace what is the recovery? Equal time to that of the interval?

"In addition to ATR workouts, striders and slower paced distance runs, using longer work intervals at estimated current 12k-20k race pace is a beneficial part of base training. The pace needs to be controlled and in the range mentioned so that stamina is developed well. Stamina is my term which defines lactate threshold (see the appendix) and extensibility (a state of being able to run fairly far at a somewhat fast pace)."

The second question is regard to another passage (below), Why (physiologically) does running too fast for more than 30 seconds at a time limit aerobic development? I assume 12k pace is not considered too fast?

"Running too fast in the base phase is not a good idea because of two key reasons. First, the primary goal of base training is to elevate the volume of running you do weekly so that aerobic capacity is well developed. Remember, capacity is about going farther, not faster. Second, running too fast, especially for more than 30 seconds at a time, in base training, has way of limiting development of aerobic capacity; experience has shown. "

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Re: Interval Work During Base Phase

Post by FTIR » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:08 am

It depends on what you mean by the buildup part of a base phase. Are you talking about the first two or three weeks when you haven't done anything for two or three weeks or are you talking the fourth through sixth week after taking two weeks easy with just strides and 3 mile jogs every other day?

For me, the first two or three weeks after taking two or three weeks off I don't do any 12-20k pace because strides are enough fast work to see amazing gains. I wish I could tell you more about this but I learned it while Tinman was coaching me so it is unfair to let all his cat's out of the bag.

If I just took two easy weeks with strides and 3 mile jogs, I start the 12-20k pace workouts the first week back but I only do about 1/2 the volume I did at the maximum part of my last cycle. The most important thing is to slow the interval paces down to account for the fact that during your time off you got slower. You want to use paces according to what you could do on the day of the workout not 10 days later after a taper or in a race situation at the end of your previous season.

As for recovery times, I generally jog 200 m in between 60 and 90 seconds for both CV (3-4 min 8-12K pace intervals) and threshold (mile long 20k to HM pace intervals). If you get the pace right for the day of the workout, your jogs should happen in the same time for the entire workout.

I will let Tinman handle your why question.

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Re: Interval Work During Base Phase

Post by phil149840 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:17 am

Thanks for your reply.

I am talking about during an aerobic buildup period. Typically I have my guys get in some aerobic miles (some of which is higher end, "marathon pace" if you will) with some short alactic sprint work, strides, etc. and after 8-12 weeks or so of this begin adding anaerobic threshold work. I have read some on tinman's stuff on here and over at letsrun and saw that he uses what he refers to as CV pace regularly (it sounds like he might even use it in lieu of AT pace work). Anyway, I wonder whether he does this if someone is building a base for the season initially or if he just incorporates it after a while.

Also, since it is at least somewhat anaerobic, does this counteract aerobic fitness?

I am interested because of the benefits tinman has said that this work provides versus AT pace and at a repeatability greater than that of 3k-5k pace work.

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Re: Interval Work During Base Phase

Post by dilluh » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:48 pm

phil149840 wrote:Also, since it is at least somewhat anaerobic, does this counteract aerobic fitness?

I am interested because of the benefits tinman has said that this work provides versus AT pace and at a repeatability greater than that of 3k-5k pace work.
Based on experience, I do not believe that CV reps counteract aerobic fitness. Why? If CV reps took away from aerobic development, then consistent use of CV as a workout would go against Tinman's philosophy of "keeping the ball rolling." In fact, the opposite is true. CV reps are an efficient way to build aerobic fitness.

My take on AT pace runs (easy tempo as I call them) is that they are nice for a simple change of pace workout but there is more bang for your buck going slightly faster, i.e., Tinman or Medium Tempo Pace (or 80% VO2 max, or approximately 5k pace + 45s) for a shorter time. The benefits of the medium tempo compared to the easy tempo are quite similar (unless you are training for a marathon) and more importantly, you take less shock to your body as it's less pounding to run a 20 minute workout rather than a 40 minute workout.

As far as 3k-5k running - it's like a potent spice in a meal. Just the right amount makes the meal shine but too much (even just a little too much) can make the meal hard to eat. 3k-5k running/workouts is important but determining how much and when is where the rubber meets the road. I tend to err on the side of very, very little 3k-5k training as I age and rely more on being in good 10k shape (which is highly sustainable) and racing myself into 5k shape.

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Re: Interval Work During Base Phase

Post by Tinman » Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:02 pm

Phil,

What makes you think that CV pace counteracts aerobic fitness development?

(In fact, it's just the opposite.)
Tinman
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Re: Interval Work During Base Phase

Post by phil149840 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:43 pm

"What makes you think that CV pace counteracts aerobic fitness development?"

Tom,

First of all thanks so much for your reply and your excellent site. Years after being a competitive runner I've finally gone back and am coaching high schoolers and am trying my best to understand the principles behind the training. Thank you for helping me to better help these youngsters. CV pace is a new concept for me, and probably an incomplete understanding of it is what led to my questioning whether or not it counteracts aerobic fitness.

I've seen it stated that anaerobic work counteracts aerobic fitness. I do not have my athletes do anything other than very short, fast "alactic" work during the first part of their base phase, especially as many of them have had some downtime before the season. Eventually I gradually add in AT work. Because CV work is a bit faster and thus has a higher anaerobic component I worried that this anaerobic portion would erode aerobic fitness (and didn't want to add in too quickly if it did). Does that make sense?

If it sounds like I am a little bit "gun shy," I am. My performances in college would take off like a rocket during our college indoor season, but each year soon after going into the outdoor season my times would fall off a cliff. I would get about 2/3 to 3/4 through a race and just feel like I didn't have anything for the rest of the race. In looking at my old logs I have tried to piece together what may have happened with my limited understanding of the physiology. Was the density of training too great, including racing? Did I take my off days too hard? Someday I would love to find out. I am happy with my athletic career, but wonder "What if?" I had done things a bit differently. It would have been nice to have a full outdoor season and have not been beaten by some that I had beaten indoors. So I tend to err on the side of caution with the boys now if anything, perhaps too much so. Thanks for any and all input. I should note that my college training was geared towards the 800/1500, so we had lots of race pace type stuff with a little 3k-5k pace stuff from time to time. I suspect that my body's particular makeup couldn't handle this for some reason as others did similar training and could handle it through outdoors.

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Re: Interval Work During Base Phase

Post by Tinman » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:51 pm

My apology up-front:

I don't have time for lengthy posts during the next 4-years. I have loads of doctoral coursework to do and clients who send me emails frequently. Like most people here, they want my time, thoughts, and feedback; and they want me to impart the guru wisdom on them. Furthermore, they want to be my friend and to take an interest in them personally, which I can understand as a social person too. And, I do respond to their questions, but it consumes a lot of time. Between my regular teaching job, coaching clients, and graduate coursework, I'm "working" 90-95 hours per week at-present. That's 12-15+ hours per day, 7 days per week, non-stop.

So, if you have questions, be succinct. Bullet-point them. Please, no more than one question per post. I don't have time to read a lot of history. We have many smart and experienced runners and coaches who visit and participate on this website. They can provide good answers to questions too. And, many have been coached or advised by me for lengthy periods of time. They know my overall philosophy, and they know a lot about how I design or schedule workouts from their first-hand experience. Feel free to ask them questions too.

If you want to learn more, attend one of the three clinics where I'll lecture on training this year. I will be in Chicago on the 25th and 26th at The Running Summit. I will be in Roanoke, VA lecturing on the 13th of July. I'll be in Ames, Iowa on the 2nd and 3rd of December at the Championship Videos clinic.

I ask that people who want ME to answer a specific, direct, question to start the thread with "Tinman, can you answer this quick question." If I can't answer within a couple of days, I'll simply write - will get back to you later. If you can't wait, ask the forum members: Just say, "Forum, can you answer this question: ....." Because I am getting to a point where I won't visit The Run Zone every day, you may have to send me an email stating that you posted a questions for me on the website. I may respond and say it will have to wait a day or two. I may say it may have to wait a few days. I may suggest that you address the question to the FORUM community. If I say I'll respond but forget, I am sorry. It's possible that I'll forget; I'm not a robot. Ha!

To be quick, I'll say this: It is a myth that doing anaerobic training directly destroys aerobic ability. Anaerobic training can destroy aerobic ability indirectly however. The biggest problem with focusing time on one type of training is that you don't have time and enough adaptive energy to focus on another type of training.

If you schedule a bunch of very fast 300s for your athletes, you really can't schedule a bunch of higher-end aerobic work, such as tempo work, threshold, or CV too, simply because they will be toast by the time you have them do the high-end aerobic work at the conclusion of the workout. They only can absorb so-much stress before falling apart.

If a coach prescribes 5 x 300m @ 95% of best speed with 5 minute recoveries, the athlete is toast by the 4th rep - with one rep still remaining. As a coach, you certainly cannot assign a bunch of repeat miles at Threshold pace after those 300m reps, unless you expect that athlete to be dysfunctional for a week. Some coaches will prescribe those repeat miles for the day after the fast 300s, thinking they have to somehow make up for lost time. That's just a nonsense approach to training runners; it doesn't work well over the long-term!

The human body can absorb only so much training. And the human body will have incomplete recovery when the training is too aggressive. Keep that in mind, always.

Make good choices as a coach. *Is it more important to emphasize aerobic development or anaerobic (non-oxidative) development!

My number one point about training is this: aerobic trumps anaerobic, if long-term development is the goal.

Technical training is worth including year-round, but don't go nuts with drills.

Too much energy spent on drills means too little time doing the types of training that create the most results.

Spread out workouts, don't go nuts with intensity,

Blend the various ingredients correctly, relative to the athletes underlying levels of fitness.

Okay, I gotta get back to studies and clients.

Take care!
Tinman
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Inquire via email:
runfastcoach@gmail.com

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Re: Interval Work During Base Phase

Post by Tchuck » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:02 am

Phil, I have never considered CV pace anaerobic and and have always improved using these paces in my 5K, 10K and half marathon times. There can be an issue if you push beyond this pace which young athletes may do if racing their teammates in their work outs. Generally, it is 10K effort on the day you do the work out. Take into account weather, wind, humidity, recovery etc to determine pace that day. After a while, you just know how this effort feels. When I am done with a CV work out, I am not fried like I ran a race. I feel like I worked it but not dying. You may have read the below but it give a little background on CV pace. Tinman recommends a touch faster now than the 45 minutes pace recommended in article. I have done very well using the 45 min guideline as I tend to be a bit more conservative bases on my past injury history.
http://www.sportscoach.netmx.co.uk/inde ... le&sid=963

Some general guidelines are in offseason or early base, do CV pace more in Fartlek fashion like 8 X 2 min or something similar. In offseason it is nice to stay in touch with this pace and effort so the transition is done with ease. For me, I am a low mileage runner without tremendous talent but I may do 6-8 X 2 min every other week with tempo the other week in offseason. Note: I only do 1 quality run a week. As I get closer to racing I may add some progression starting with 4 X 800M with 90 sec rest working my way to 6 X 1K with 60 sec rest. I follow those reps with 4 X 200M fast or 6-8 X 100M fast.

I think you have a great approach by not doing a lot of fast work early in season. You have learned from your past experiences. You want your athletes to continue to improve throughout the year and peak late in season. Good luck.

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Re: Interval Work During Base Phase

Post by dilluh » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:41 pm

Tchuck wrote:After a while, you just know how this effort feels. When I am done with a CV work out, I am not fried like I ran a race. I feel like I worked it but not dying.

Some general guidelines are in offseason or early base, do CV pace more in Fartlek fashion like 8 X 2 min or something similar. In offseason it is nice to stay in touch with this pace and effort so the transition is done with ease. For me, I am a low mileage runner without tremendous talent but I may do 6-8 X 2 min every other week with tempo the other week in offseason. Note: I only do 1 quality run a week. As I get closer to racing I may add some progression starting with 4 X 800M with 90 sec rest working my way to 6 X 1K with 60 sec rest. I follow those reps with 4 X 200M fast or 6-8 X 100M fast.

I think you have a great approach by not doing a lot of fast work early in season. You have learned from your past experiences. You want your athletes to continue to improve throughout the year and peak late in season. Good luck.
The above is good advice. I find that when things are going well, a CV workout (say, 5 x 1000 w/ 60s jog recovery + strides) will leave me feeling "pleasantly tired" the next day. Not, "I can't move or get out of bed" tired but also tired enough not able to do more than an easy run, either. If the CV workout was on a Tuesday, I could probably do a reasonable tempo on Thursday but being more conservative in my approach, getting slightly older and having a young one at home who deprives me of sleep/recovery, I opt to get in another easy run and then I'm ready to go for a tempo run on Friday or Saturday. I've never finished a CV run feeling like I need to peel myself off the track, ever. 10k-pace reps are challenging but always under control.

Tchuck's advice about shortening the CV into fartlek-like segments in an off-season or during a build-up is also solid advice. If you plan out in advance, you can build the duration of the rep and/or increase the number of reps and/or decrease the time of the recovery very smoothly each week to where you want to be during the meaty part of a racing season. Another strategy is to target the high-end aerobic-focused training strategy through other means: long hill reps, out-and-backs, progression runs, wave runs, etc. I find that after a key race (there are fewer and few of these per year for me =] ) I like to shift gears for a time and do more of the workouts on the roads or trails rather than the track, or trade out the Tinman (medium) tempo for an easy tempo for a few weeks just to change things up. The mind needs to be refreshed from time to time, too. There are many ways to get high-end aerobic endurance that don't involve long-ish reps on the track. I think if you search these forums you can find a good list of 10k-type workouts that could be alternatives to straight 1000m CV reps.

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Re: Interval Work During Base Phase

Post by phil149840 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:35 pm

Thanks to Tchuck and dilluh for your replies!

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